The Virtual Console release of the original Pokemon Gold and Pokemon Silver (and Pokemon Crystal) on September 22, 2017 marks the release of what many STILL consider the best Pokemon games of all time for a variety of reasons, all of which I agree with. I’d know: I played the original 2nd Gen games when they were released back in 1999. Pokemon Silver still stands my most played game. EVER. I played it every single day since getting it until I traded it in to buy Pokemon Ruby in 2002.
The 2009 remakes Pokemon HeartGold and Pokemon SoulSilver–which I have of course–were a letter of love to fans of the original games: The Pokefinder Prehep included with them served as a replacement to the originals’ Mystery Gift Function. The remakes used the Diamond and Pearl Engine but included certain mechanics introduced in Crystal including the Eusine and Suicune events. Trainers could also get one of the Kanto Starters when they visit Professor Oak in Pallet Town. In addition, trainers could catch Rayquayza by transferring a Groudon caught in SoulSilver to HeartGold or a Kyogre caught in HeartGold to SoulSilver. Then there’s the Arceus Event involving the Ruins of Alph where you can make a Level 1 Dialga, Palkia or Giratina using the in-game Event Pokemon Arceus. One could easily make the arguement the remakes were harder than the originals due to the inclusion of mechanics introduced in the 3rd and 4th Gen games but I digress.
…But enough about the Gold and Silver Remakes. This is about the ORIGINAL Gold and Silver (as well as Crystal).
In commemoration of the Virtual Console releases of Pokemon Gold and Pokemon Silver, the rest of this page will be a bit of a cheat sheet for those of you who are experiencing the original Gold and Silver for the very first time. There will be tips and hints that span the entire length of the game including the post-game Kanto Region.
Beginning to Violet City
- Like the 1st Gen VC games, if you have two 3DS family consoles (as well as a copy of Gold and Silver on each) you can get access to all 3 Johto starters. What I did with Red and Blue was I got 2 copies of both games plus Yellow on both of my 3DS consoles. It takes a bit longer to enable trading in Gold/Silver plus you will have to transfer one starter and start a new game once and that’s just assuming you own 2 3DS consoles like I do. What I did in Red/Blue was I picked Charmander in Red but picked Bulbasaur in Blue, sent it to Red and then started a new game but picked Squirtle for the full playthrough and just traded Bulbasaur as I evolved it between the games for the Pokedex entries. I plan to do the same with Chikorita while picking Totodile in Gold and Cyndaquil in Silver for the actual playthroughs.
- Speaking of the Johto Starters. It is currently the ONLY Gen in which all 3 starter Pokemon each evolve at different levels both times they each evolve. Chikorita evolves at level 16 and again at 34. Cyndaquil evolves at level 14 and again at level 36. Totodile evolves at level 18 and again at level 30. No other Gen has their starters evolve like this. This is also the only Gen in which ALL of the starters AND their evolved forms do not gain a second type. Gen 5’s Tepig gains the Fighting Type when it evolves while Snivy and Oshwalott do not.
- This is easy to miss but you do have access to the end of Route 46 at the very beginning of the game. From here you can catch Geodude, who will come in VERY handy against the first Gym’s Flying Pokemon. Geodude learns Rock Throw at level 11.
- Catch two Bellsprouts on Route 31: There is a trainer in Violet City who is willing to trade you an Onix for one.
- Gastly can be caught in the Bellsprout Tower at Night. Remember: Ghosts are immune to Normal attacks like Tackle and Scratch.
- Speaking of the Bellsprout Tower. It’s a good place to level the Flying type Pidgey, Hoothoot and Spearow as well as Cyndaquil if that’s your starter Pokemon in Gold/Silver.
- Faulkner’s Pidgeotto can easily sweep your team between Mud Slap and the now Flying type Gust, especially if you started with Cyndaquil or Chikorita. The reason: Mud Slap and Gust gives it coverage against 70% of the Pokemon you can get up to this point including Onix and Geodude, who both learn a coverage move that can beat it. My advice: Ask someone who progressed further in the game to breed you a Chinchou (Water/Electric), whose only weakness is Grass and hatch it. Chinchou and Lanturn don’t learn any Electric type moves aside from Spark in the 2nd Gen so once it hatches, trade it again so it can be taught Thunder via TM (can be bought in the 2nd Gen in Celadon City) before sending it back. Why not ask for a Mareep, who learns Thundershock at level 9? Because the birds outspeed it. Pikachu’s fragile as hell to boot as well so…yeah. Fishing for Chinchou requires the Good Rod so for a less rare option you could go with Voltorb, which can be found in the Rocket HQ in Mahogany Town.
Violet City to Goldenrod City
- After you clear the first Gym, you will have access to Route 32 and 2 important Pokemon: Mareep and Wooper. Wooper’s your only decient Water Pokemon for a while if you didn’t start with Totodile. Mareep is slow but bulky. It gains access to Thunder Punch when it evolves at level 15 into Flaafy. The Gen 4 version takes full advantage of this with its Static ability, which it doesn’t have in the 2nd Gen. Oh, well.
- Swing by the optional Ruins of Alph if you wanna catch Unown.
- You get an Old Rod in the Pokemon Center on Route 32. You know the drill: Trade it to someone who progressed further who can evolve it for you. If you’re willing to wait until you’ve unlocked the Time Capsule then send it to the first Gen, evolve it and teach it Surf. I reccommend trading Magikarp and evolving it simply so you have a decient (and slightly over leveled) Water Pokemon early on.
- Speaking of. There are a few trainers who use Fire Pokemon in Union Cave. They’ll give you trouble if you don’t have either a Water Pokemon (not Magikarp) or Geodude/Onix on your team.
- You can catch Slowpoke in the Slowpoke Well but not until after you deal with Team Rocket. Yet another Gen 1 Pokemon that you’ll need to teach Surf, as its only Water type move is Water Gun. That doesn’t change with either of its evolutions either.
- After you take care of Team Rocket you can have Kurt make custom Pokeballs for you. Unlike Crystal, HG and SS he can only make ONE ball per day. in Crystal, he will make Poke Balls of a specific type in bulk. In the remakes, he will take all of your Apricorns and use them to make Poke Balls. White Apricorns grow behind his house but the others are in out of the way locations. As a reminder: Trees can only be harvested once a day so…yeah.
- The Azalea Gym specializes in Bug Pokemon. If you don’t have have Cyndaquil, you should have some Flying and Rock Pokemon Level 12+ to take Bugsy. Fortunately, he doesn’t have Beedrill and Butterfree. LOL.
- The trick to the Farfetch’d puzzle is to herd it back toward the trainer. Once you do, go back and see the master for the Cut HM.
- You get the TM for Headbutt, which can be used outside battles in the 2nd Gen (as well as in HG/SS) on trees. In Ilex Forest if you’re willing to be patient you can snag an Exeggcute. You can also catch an Oddish in Ilex Forest.
- Ah, Route 34. You’ll be spending alot of time here because of the Pokemon Daycare. Be careful coming through here for the first time at night if your Pokemon are running out of steam: The cops will battle you with Level 18 Growlithe.
- There’s a trainer in Goldenrod City’s Department Store who will trade you a Machop for a Drowzee, which will come in handy for the Goldenrod City Gym (Uses Normal Pokemon). Make sure it’s a Female Machop: Whitney’s Clefairy knows Attract and it will conpletely derail you otherwise. The irony: Almost all of the Pokemon featured in the Gym are Fairy Pokemon as of the 6th Gen (Jigglypuff, Clefairy and Snubbull).
- Don’t forget to see the Florist in Goldenrod City after you beat Whitney: You will need the water bottle to get past the “weird tree” blocking the intersection connecting Goldenrod City, Ecruteak City and Violet City.
- To get the Radio Card from the Radio Tower on the first floor, the answers are Yes, Yes, No, Yes No.
- Don’t forget to go to the Bike Shop to get your free Bike. The Owner will call you after you ride it around for 1000 steps to thank you for the free advertising by letting you keep it.
Goldenrod City to Olivine City
- The National Park holds a bug catching contest on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Catching the extremely rare Scyther or Pinsir prettymuch guarantees you first place. You can catch Sunkern from here during the day when a contest isn’t going on. Speaking of: 1st Prize for winning the Bug Catching Contest is a Sun Stone, which is used to evolve Gloom into Bellossom and Sunkern into Sunflora.
- The “weird tree” blocking the road to Eckruteak City is really a level 20 Sudowoodo. It’s a Rock type. This is your only chance to get it so I recommend catching the fake tree.
- Ah, Route 37. Routes 37 and 36 will come into play while trying to catch the Johto Trio. For now, you have 2 trainers you can’t avoid to get to Ecruteak City. And they will both try to put your team to sleep. After you deal with them, you can catch Growlithe (Gold) or Vulpix (Silver) depending on your version. If you didn’t start with Cyndaquil, this is your only reliable Fire Pokemon until the Postgame in Silver (Houndour is caught in Kanto for some reason) or until you get Ho-Oh in Gold.
- The first thing you should do when you get into Ecruteak City is go to the Pokemon Center. You will meet Bill and now the Time Capsule will be unlocked starting the next morning. This allows you to trade with the first Gen Games. Just keep in mind the following restrictions: 2nd Gen Pokemon or Eggs can’t be transferred and neither can 1st Gen Pokemon who know moves that were introduced in the 2nd Gen. Aside from that, be mindful transferring in Pokemon over the level of your current badge: They may not listen to you.
- Now that you have unlocked the Time Capsule you can breed The Kanto Starters, The Fossil Pokemon (Aerodactyl, Kabuto/Kabutops and Omanyte/Omastar), Hitmonchan/Hitmonlee and Eevee, who were the choice Pokemon in the 1st Gen. Speaking of Eevee: Bill will give you one if you’re willing to make the trek to his house in Goldenrod City. The Hitmons have a Pre-evolution in the 2nd Gen: Tyrogue. You get the third Hitmon, Hitmontop when Tyrogue’s ATK and DEF stats are the same when it hits level 20.
- The Burned Tower’s Johto Trio Event is different between G/S and Crystal + HG/SS. In the latter games, you have a guaranteed shot at Suicune in Kanto. Otherwise, have fun randomly finding it in the grasses of Johto.
- The trick to getting to Morty is walking directly in front of the trainers as you beat them. The gym was reworked in the remakes to make this point more obvious. You probably won’t have any Dark Pokemon aside from Umbreon yet but there are a few Pokemon who learn Bite, which is a Dark type move starting in the 2nd Gen. Don’t forget Normal Pokemon are immune to Ghost type moves as well!
- Your prize for defeating the Kimono Girls: The Surf HM. You’ll be able to use it after you beat Morty.
- You’re gonna go west to Route 38 after you finish your business in Ecruteak City. You can catch Miltank here as well as Farfetch’d, which was previously only available via trade in the 1st Gen. You can also catch Tauros here, which was previously only available in the Safari Zone in the 1st Gen. Feed the sick Miltank alot of Berries (Gold Berries will work, too) to help it recover. Grab Magnemite before you go in town while you’re at it.
- You came all this way to challenge Jasmine but she’s not feeling it right now because of the sick Pokemon. Grab the Strength HM and the Good Rod before you set sail for Cianwood City.
- Along the way across the sea you will pass the Whirl Islands, which you can’t access without the Whirlpool HM. The only reason you have to go there is for Lugia in either version. The sea route’s a pretty good area to level your Electric, Grass and Psychic Pokemon.
- A Pokemanic in Cianwood will gift you his Shuckle because he’s afraid someone will try to steal it. LOL.
- Chuck’s Poliwrath will use the Mind Reader + Dynamic Punch Combo on you so be careful. Beating him means you get HM Fly from his wife outside the Gym. This allows you to Fast Travel back to Olivine after you get the Secretpotion from the Cianwood City Pharmacy.
- With Olivine City’s Lighthouse Pokemon recovered, Jasmine is ready to accept your challenge. Her level 35 Steelix will give you some serious problems thanks to Sandstorm: Only Rock, Steel and Ground types are immune to it. It also has Iron Tail to deal with opposing Rock type Pokemon as well. If you weren’t training the Machop you got in Goldenrod City, import one from the 1st Gen to deal with it is what I strongly reccommend.
Olivine City to Goldenrod City
- After you finish your business in Olivine City, your next stop is Mahogany Town. If you are playing Crystall or HG/SS you will see Suicune on Route 42 briefly. You can’t challenge the Gym Leader, Pryce until after you’ve dealt with Team Rocket. You can’t use the East exit until after you’ve dealt with Team Rocket in Goldenrod City.
- First things first head north to the Lake of Rage. This is your one guaranteed shot at catching a Shiny Pokemon. In this case, it’s a level 30 Gyarados. After you deal with it, talk to former Elite Four member Lance and then meet him in Mahogany Town’s Poke Mart.
- The Rocket Hideout is pretty straightforward in regards to the puzzles. Keep the alarm on if you want to farm EXP though. You can catch the 3 Level 23 Electrode you’re assigned to fight by the way. Same goes for the “Trap” Pokemon on the previous floor.
- With the Gym finally open, slide around until you get to Pryce. If you think it’s an annoying puzzle, see the remakes! The Gym’s specialty is Ice Pokemon but most of the trainers have Seel or Shellder–whose evolutions gain the Ice type–mixed in. Pryce himself has Piloswine, which is a unique Ground/Ice Pokemon. Also unlike the remakes, this Gym is not as dangerous without moves introduced in the 3rd and 4th Gens as well as Abilities. Use a Fire Pokemon to take out Pryce’s Piloswine.
- As soon as you leave the Gym, Professor Elm will call you. Something about a Radio Broadcast? You get there to find out Team Rocket took over the city while you were busy with Pryce. First stop is the third floor of the Radio Tower. Part of the floor is blocked off so go up the remaining stairs to confront the Rockets there. You’ll be told the real director, who has the keycard needed to proceed is being held underground. Head there and fight your way to the bottom. 3×3 puzzle the key to move forward is to flip the switches in order from left to right.
- After you get the keycard from the director, return to the radio toward and take on the Rockets once more. For saving Johto from Team Rocket you will receive the Rainbow Wing in Gold and Crystal or the Silver Wing in Silver, which is needed to challenge the cover Legendary. You will be able to challenge the other cover legendary postgame.
Goldenrod City to Blackthorn City
- I reccommend going for Ho-Oh/Lugia before heading to Blackthorn City. For Ho-Oh, simply return to Ecruteak City and climb to the very top of the Tin Tower. Bring a Rock Pokemon to exploit the 4x weakness Ho-Oh has to Rock Type moves as well as a non-Grass Pokemon that can put it to sleep. Then, start chucking Balls. For Lugia, the top-right entrance to the Whirl Islands will take you directly to Lugia. You will also need a Pokemon that knows Flash to see inside. Although Lugia is a Flying/Psychic Pokemon it can learn Water type moves. It’s easily the more difficult of the two to catch because its moveset covers various types. If you want, go to Blackthorn City and buy some Ultra Balls before coming back to challenge Ho-Oh or Lugia.
- After you catch Lugia/Ho-Oh, head to the Ice Cave east of Mahogany Town. You can catch Swinub, which you encountered in the Mahogany Town Gym here. You can also catch Jynx, which was previously only available via trade in the 1st Gen here. Don’t forget to grab HM Waterfall on your way out though!
- Blackthorn City has a Move Deleter. In Crystal and the remakes, the Mover Relearner is in the same house. If you want a Pokemon to remember a move it forgot in the 2nd Gen, you will have to use the Poke Transporter App to send it to the 7th Gen games (being mindful the transfer is one-way).
- Clair trolls the hell out of you after you curb-stomp her, telling you to go in the Dragon’s Den behind the Gym to prove yourself worthy. After you finally get the 8th Badge, start putting together your team for the journey to the Pokemon League.
Blackthorn City to The Indigo Plateau
- The Pokemon League is technically in Kanto. To get there, first return to New Leaf Town first and speak to Prof. Elm. He will give you the Master Ball to celebrate your accomplishment of getting all 8 badges. Make sure you have Pokemon that knows Cut, Surf, Waterfall and Fly or Teleport for just in case.
- Head East from New Bark Town to Routes 27 and 26. There is a house where you can get your Pokemon healed on Route 26 on that note but no Pokemon Center. The trainers are tough but are good for EXP. Plan to return to Johto if you need to in order to buy more healing items or change your team.
- The cavern leading to the Elite Four is straightforward unlike the 1st Gen. There’s no trainers save your Rival, who will challenge you by the exit at the end. You won’t see him again until the postgame.
- The Elite Four has changed since the 1st Gen: only Bruno remains from the original quartet. You will fight 5 trainers in a row without a chance to fully heal your team so plan accordingly. If you need it, there is an Abra trainer who will offer to teleport you back to Johto to level some more. I reccommend just fighting the Elite Four since the EXP is just better.
- Will uses Psychic Pokemon that are all dual types. Exploit their typings and you should be able to sweep him without much difficulty. Xatu may give you some trouble if it gets Confuse Ray off though.
- The former Fuscia City Gym Leader specializes in Poison Pokemon but he does have a Forretress to surprise you. A Psychic Pokemon will sweep 4 of the 5 while a Fire Pokemon will 1-shot Forretress.
- Bruno has replaced an Onix with Hitmontop. Same strategy as before. He’s no threat to you.
- Karen specializes in Dark Pokemon. Her opening act Umbreon will hit you with confusion off the bat so be careful. Gengar will use Destiny Bond if you don’t 1-shot it so it can take down one of your Pokemon with it. Houndoom will be annoying because it will Roar anything that doesn’t 1-shot it.
- What a surprise, Lance is the Champion. I hope you brought an Ice Pokemon with you to exploit the 4x weakness his three Dragonites have to Ice type moves. Maybe two. Otherwise, prepare to be curb-stomped. His level 47 Dragonites–by the way Dragonair evolves into Dragonite at level 55–both have Thunder Wave and he likes to open with it against non-Ground types. Use an Electric Pokemon to exploit Gyarados’ 4x weakness to Electric attacks as well as to take Aerodacyl. Water or Rock type moves will make short work of Charizard.
Postgame Kanto Campaign
- …The late Satoru Iwata was the one who solved a concern about compressing Gold and Silver when it was still in production. Thanks to him, the Kanto Region is now open to you. Get the S.S. Ticket from Prof. Elm and then go to Olivine City. Aboard the S.S. Aqua, find a missing child to advance the story and arrive at Vermillion City in Kanto.
- In Vermillion City, a Snorlax blocks Diglett’s Cave and access to Western Kanto. Challenge Lt. Surge for now. In the remakes, you WILL have to disarm the traps but you lucked out in the originals!
- Head to Saffron City and you will find out something’s happened at the recently reopened Power Plant, which powers the bullet train that connects Saffron City in Kanto and Goldenrod City in Johto. In addition, Kanto’s Radio Tower in Lavender Town–formerly the Pokemon Tower–can’t broadcast either.
- The Copycat Girl in Saffron City will mention she lost her favorite Poke Doll while visiting Vermillion City. Go to the Pokemon Fan Club and retreive it for her. She will give you her Train Pass as thanks.
- Challenge Sabrina, who uses Psychic Pokemon. After you’re done being creeped out by her apparently knowing you would pay her a visit before you were born, stop by the empty fighting dojo next door. The master is away training in Mt. Mortar in Johto. Challenge him and he will give you a Tyrogue, which evolves into one of the Hitmons.
- Head to Celadon City and you will find out Misty is on a date out on the cape to the north. Before you ruin her fun, head east to the Power Plant and find out what’s going on. The owner is beyond pissed someone stole a generator part. On your way out, the cop on duty will announce a suspicious person was seen in near the Cerulean City Gym. Head to the Gym. When you enter, a Team Rocket grunt will bump into you on his way out.
- Now head to Route 22. The 6-trainer challenge was moved past the bridge. Fight the Rocket before you spy on Misty to learn the Rocket hid the Machine Part he stole in the Gym. Recover it and then come back in time to see Misty on a date. No, it’s not Ash (LOL!). Mad/Embarassed you scared off her date, she wants to battle you at her Gym. In Crystal and the remakes, you will see Suicune one more time here. Eusine will say something about the Tin Tower. return there and you will do battle with Suicune.
- After putting Misty in her place, return the Machine Part you recovered. You get the TM for Zap Cannon for your trouble. The bullet train can now be used anytime as well. The Radio Tower in Kanto is up and running again and that’s where to go next. Speak to the Guard by the stairs on the first floor to receive an expansion for your Radio Card, allowing you to listen to Kanto’s Radio Stations. One of them is the Poke Flute, which you will need to move Snorlax in Vermillion City. It is Level 50, knows Sleep Talk (can use one of its other moves while Sleeping) and is holding the Leftovers items so be careful.
- After dealing with Snorlax, go to Fuschia City to challenge Koga’s daughter Janine for another badge. In the Remakes, the Safari Zone is replaced with the Pal Park (used to import Pokemon from the 3rd Gen games). Head back to Vermillion City and go through Diglett’s Cave to get to Pewter City. Speak to the man to the right of the Gym to receive the Silver Wing in Gold or the Rainbow Wing in Silver, which you will need to get the other Legendary in Johto. If you go to Mt. Moon from here, you will fight your Rival. After this, you will be able to fight him here on a weekly basis.
- Head south from Pewter City to Virdian City. In the Remakes, you will have to pass through Viridian Forest but not the originals. The recently appointed Gym Leader is away surveying the damage caused when Cinnabar Island’s volcano erupted. Continue south to Pallet Town and enjoy the remixed music!
- Make your way to Cinnabar Island. You will meet Blue, the rival from the 1st Gen games. he is the new Viridian City Gym Leader. He will allow you to challenge him after you get the other badges in Kanto. As it happens, the Cinnarbar Gym relocated to Seafoam Island to the east. Go there, fight Blaine and then come back and talk to Blue again. In the remakes, Blaine brought back the trivia rooms from the 1st Gen games. In the 2nd Gen games, it’s just him for you to deal with.
- Once you have the other 7 Kanto Badges, Blue will tell you to meet him in the Viridian Gym. He will comment on his short-lived reign as Pokemon League Champion, referencing Red before and after battling you.
- Speak to Prof. Oak in Pallet Town and you will now be able to go to Mt. Silver, which is actually in Johto but can only be accessed overland from Kanto. Return to the Pokemon League gate. The first time you went through here, there was a guard blocking the way West. Now you can get through. The Pokemon here are very strong but there are no trainers. Rest up at the Pokemon Center before you go inside Mt. Silver.
- You can catch Larvitar in Mt. Silver, which evolves into Pupitar and then Tyranitar. It takes time to level and evolve it but it’s well worth the effort.
- Waiting for you at the top of Mr. Silver is Red, the Main Protagonist from the 1st Gen games. He boast the highest-level Pokemon until the Remakes in which they increased the levels of his whole team and replaced Espeon with Lapras. Snorlax will give you the most trouble simply because it will automatically use Rest when it’s lost half or more of its health, knows Sleep Talk and is bulky. You get nothing for beating Red in the originals but in the Remakes, it’s necessary to challenge the Elite Four again.
…After that, all that’s left is to finish the Pokedex. The only Pokemon you won’t have access to are Mew and Celebi. Note that you WILL get a digital code when you buy the Virtual Console versions of Gold or Silver with which to get Celebi in the 7th Gen games. It will be on the receipt. Redeem it in the 7th Gen games and you will be gifted Celebi. A second code on the receipt can be used to get a Gold or Silver Theme. be warned, you will have a limited time to redeem both codes so…yeah.